Do you enjoy tracking down the perfect reference? How about the possibility of using that source to help millions of people from around the world discover and connect to reliable information sources? Now in its 3rd year, the Wikipedia Library’s #1Lib1Ref campaign encourages each and every librarian (along with other supporters of free access to reliable information) to commit to improving one reference on Wikipedia between January 15 – February 3, 2018. The steps outlined are easy:
- Find an article that needs a citation. Use Citation Hunt to find statements labeled  or consider an article on a common research topic at your institution.
- Find a reliable source for that article. Scholarly or academic, secondary sources are preferred. If you can find an online, Open Access source, that’s great, but subscription and print resources are also fine (after all, not everything is freely available on the web). Be careful to avoid sources that re-use Wikipedia content to prevent citogenesis.
- Add a citation. Click ‘edit’ at the top of the page. Use the pencil icon on the top, right to switch to visual editing. Place your cursor where you want a citation to go (usually after sentence punctuation). The citation option in the toolbar can often automatically generate citations from a URL, DOI, or ISBN (or use the manual option to fill in fields associated with your resource and create a citation).
- Tag your contribution. When you click ‘publish changes,’ use the hashtag #1Lib1Ref in your Edit Summary. When you click ‘publish changes’ again, your edit will be live and visible to all Wikipedia users immediately.
- Encourage others to participate. Share your contribution on social media. Help a colleague give Wikipedia editing a try. Learn more about incorporating Wikipedia and other Wikimedia platforms into your library service offerings.
If adding a citation has you hooked, there are many other ways that you can contribute. Librarians in New Mexico are already working with Wikimedia resources to improve access to free and open educational content. Here are some examples and ways that you too can participate:
- Teach with Wikipedia. Wiki Education provides resources to help higher education faculty incorporate Wikipedia assignments into their courses. For example, students in UNM’s Introduction to Information Studies course have been using Wikipedia to learn about the nature of information and practice information literacy skills.
- Participate in Art + Feminism. Now in its 5th year, Art + Feminism has worked to improve Wikipedia coverage of women in the arts and teach people to engage with Wikipedia. Events in New Mexico this year are already being planned at the New Mexico Museum of Art (March 3rd) and Albuquerque Museum (March 24th). Join in or visit the Art + Feminism website to find out more about hosting an event in your community.
- Promote Wikimedia Commons campaigns. Commons is a source for free photos and media, and it often runs campaigns to encourage contributions. For example, Wiki Loves Monuments is an annual photography contest to encourage users to discover and photograph places of cultural and historic significance.
- Try out WikiVoyage. This is the free worldwide travel guide that anyone can edit. UNM’s International Education Week offered a great opportunity to engage international students and students considering study abroad in sharing their travel experience with others. See this event handout for quick tips to get started.
- Share your experiences and get help. Join the Wikimedia and Libraries User Group on Wiki, Facebook, or Twitter, and don’t forget to share your experiences with other ACRL-NM members.
Laura Soito is the physical sciences librarian at the University of New Mexico.